Arsenal’s reversion to fragile state epitomised by defensive miscues, Nketiah’s miss

Arsenal’s recent defensive reversion to a more fragile state that was seen in the last two seasons has been epitomised by some of their most glaring failures this season. Nketiah missed his first Arsenal goal for Chelsea on Wednesday night, something which would have made Arsène Wenger proud according to him and saw Arsenal lose 2-1 at Stamford Bridge.

The “Nketiah’s miss” is a moment that epitomised Arsenal’s reversion to their fragile state. The Gunners have been in the top four for years, but recent defensive mistakes and goals conceded by Olivier Giroud has seen them plummet down the table. Read more in detail here: eddie nketiah.

Everton came from behind to defeat Mikel Arteta’s side 2-1 at Goodison Park on Monday, leaving Arsenal astonished.

Richarlison had been denied a goal twice by VAR decisions, but it was third time lucky for the Toffees as he equalized following Martin Odegaard’s well-placed effort just before half-time. Demarai Gray curled one in off the post in the second minute of stoppage time to throw the blue half of Merseyside into a frenzy.

Positives

Everton’s propensity to come forward was repeatedly hampered by Arsenal’s patient, methodical passing patterns, which stopped Rafa Benitez’s side from gaining too much momentum. It wasn’t the prettiest of displays, and the outcome reflected that, but the Gunners looked threatening on the counterattack at times, and it was frequently dubious finishing that let them down.

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Negatives

Arsenal feared whenever Everton had a surge of energy through the center of the pitch, or even down the wing. They returned to the side we’ve seen for years, with the type of fragility and uncertainty that has hampered their progress as a top English football club. They were careless in aerial duels, were constantly pushed to the limit, and lacked consistent inventiveness.

Manager’s score out of ten

6 — Arteta switched up his starting lineup, and everything seemed a touch more cautious from the outset. They seemed apprehensive while pressing the gun, content to sit back and not take any chances. The greatest concern was how rapidly they crumbled in the last quarter of the game, with the Spaniard seeming a shell of the man who battled toe-to-toe with Jurgen Klopp just a few weeks ago, particularly in relation to the Kieran Tierney change.

Those are rated on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best and players inserted after 70 minutes receiving no rating.

GK Aaron Ramsdale, 6 years old — The ace goalkeeper had some decent distribution and made a few solid stops, but was eventually let down by the defense’s lackluster performance.

DF Kieran Tierney, 6 years old — His exquisite assist for Arsenal’s goal, as well as his overall effort rate, raises additional questions about his replacement.

2 Related

DF Gabriel, 5 years old — While Gabriel does a good job of guarding the ball, there’s a case to be made that he contributed to both Everton goals.

DF 4 — Ben White Based on this excursion, I’d have a hard time communicating with Siri, with the £50 million guy appearing terrified the whole evening.

DF Takehiro Tomiyasu, 5 years old — With his failure to track back for the winner, he resembled a lost puppy, underlining his lack of expertise at this level.

MF Granit Xhaka (5 points) — It’s always good to watch Xhaka earn fouls and play hard, but he couldn’t manage the midfield as much as he would have wanted in the end.

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Alexandre Lacazette, FW Alexandre Lacazette, 5 — To gain any form of service, he had to go much too deep, with his only meaningful contribution being a wonderful touch in the build-up to the opening.

Substitutions

DF 4 — Nuno Tavares Everton’s equalizer came as a result of the guy who never stops sprinting forgetting to pick up his man in the box.

FW Eddie Nketiah, N/R — In the 84th minute, he somehow missed a golden chance to give Arsenal a 2-1 lead.

N/R FW Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Before a vital mistake with the game’s last kick, he hardly had a sniff up top and seemed more like a desperation replacement than anything else.

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